She wears faith like wings and soars above the fear.
When we first met, I was an insecure college freshman, cautious, fearful and shy. A heart full of wounds and battle scars, I often stood on the outside, a mere observer of life. Like a wallflower at the school dance, I watched the world dance around me, because I was too afraid to join in. Despite my flounderings and insecurities, she welcomed me as though I’d always belonged.
Sometimes, redemption from past wounds comes from unconditional acceptance and the open arms of a faith-filled heart.
As a newly wed, I remember listening to her share her testimony to a group of women at my church. She shared her story of deep grief, significant loss, and of an unwavering faith in a sovereign God. My own life’s brokenness was still fresh, yet I hungered for a faith like hers.
It was her gentle love and secure faith that helped me through the uncertainties during the early years in my marriage to a firefighter. When the fires raged, and my fear soared, it was she who encouraged me through it. For it is often those who have been through fires themselves who are most capable of helping others find their way through the smoky haze and to a place beyond the fear.
Recently, she joined us on a family trip to Orlando. Standing in line together for a ride, she shared with us that she used to be afraid of heights. “I used to be afraid of a lot of things. But since the worst thing in my life has already happened, and I survived, there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore.”
Her statement continues to linger, stirring my heart and prompting evaluation of my own fears. She, who lost her husband unexpectedly, when her children were ten and thirteen, knows what it is to experience the worst thing in life. She has gone through the fires of suffering, where her faith was forged and sculpted.
It was faith that taught her that even when your world falls apart, God will catch you. Faith showed her there is a reason for everything and everything is in His control. Faith also revealed to her that God is big enough to take all your cries, questions, anger, and fear.
And it’s her faith that continues to teach me what it looks like to trust God in the face of intense uncertainty. I see how faith picked her up and carried her through to the other side of pain and sorrow. I’ve learned that what frightens me most, cannot break me, because God will not let me go.
It’s faith like that of my mother-in-law that inspires me to trust God in spite of my fears. It encourages me to climb to great heights. And it helps me take that giant leap into the unknown…
and soar with wings of faith in the One who will always catch me.
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